October 2018 – Edition 7


Global warming is set to dramatically impact the wellness industry. With the Earth’s temperature currently on track for a 3˚C rise by 2100, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has outlined a 12-year survival plan. The only possible insurance policy against near-future catastrophes and possible human extinction in some parts of the globe, it says, is to cap temperature increase to 1.5˚C by 2030. And that would entail “unprecedented changes” to the way we live affecting every form of economic and social activity. Global CO2 emissions need to fall to 45 per cent of 2010 levels by 2030. By 2050, any lingering emissions would need to be sucked out of the atmosphere, by reforestation, carbon capture and storage.

“companies that do not embrace environmental and social governance strategies are doomed”

What does this mean for the wellness industry at large? Two things: 1) companies that do not embrace ESG (environmental and social governance) strategies are doomed. In the years to come, sustainability will progressively become compulsory, enforced by legislators and regulators. China is set to lead the way. 2) Much sooner than most executives and investors realize, some assets will become stranded. Sea levels are rising, hurricanes and typhoons are becoming stronger, and parts of the world risk becoming so hot that they’ll become uninhabitable. Assets that are less affected by climate change (or that might even benefit from climate change) will trade at a premium.

Thierry Malleret, Managing partner Well Intelligence


The (2017) global wellness economy was worth $4.2 trillion in 2017 (https://globalwellnessinstitute.org/industry-research/2018-global-wellness-economy-monitor/) , according to the Global Wellness Institute. The industry, comprising ten distinct sectors, grew from $3.7 trillion in 2015, an annual increase of 6.4%, and almost twice the rate of global economic growth at 3.6%.

Apart from the large-scale message represented by this growth, there are some simple takeaways that mean every business and organisation can take advantage: 1) in the workplace and in homes and communities, a wellness-leaning environment relies on consistent provision of ‘feel well or better’ surroundings. In other words, the design, culture, values, social opportunities and behaviour within these settings form a particular ethos that is deliberately present. It attracts employees, retains them, and likely, positively impacts their productivity as well as providing a healthier place to call home; 2) Many of the other segments (eg fitness and mind-body, healthy eating and weight-loss) intersect with these more dedicated environments. But they also provide products, options and choices that add to a lifestyle that may not be so specifically wellbeing-facing, but which turn up the ‘wellbeing dial’ of the individual nonetheless.

“a wellness-leaning environment relies on consistent provision of ‘feel well or better surroundings”

These figures may give the impression that ‘wellness is everywhere’. After all, a $4.2trillion global industry is several times larger than the already massive $1.1trillion (2016) global pharmaceutical industry. But that would be a mistake. The world is still some distance from wellbeing access being omnipresent and democratised; what the numbers do prove is momentum in a positive direction and crucially, a scale of business and provision that can no longer be ignored.

Anni Hood, Managing partner Well Intelligence


Experiences with a specific wellness dimension are emerging as a distinct offering that combines hospitality with elements of fitness and adventure. Beginning in June 2019 G-Adventures will launch ‘wellness adventures’ – 80 different trips to ten destinations across the Americas, Europe and Asia, with itineraries programmed around three pillars of mindfulness, movement and nourishment. Note the nuance: by using ‘adventure’ instead of ‘experience’, a different seed of expectation is planted. 50% of the company’s 5,000-odd customers have expressed strong interest in booking these trips.

Also next year, the Equinox brand will launch ‘bespoke travel experiences’ – customised trips which combine destination travel with fitness and lifestyle components matched to individual and group goals. Equinox is mobilising its venue-based fitness programming and regimes into dynamic ‘covetable’ experiences at select global locations.

“these new offerings also support the argument that wellness tourism counteracts over-tourism, since they tend to be in more remote locations”

Both are examples of ‘primary purpose’ wellness tourism, a segment valued at $88billion, or 11% of all wellness tourism, according to the Global Wellness Institute. The other 89% is ‘secondary purpose’ – where travellers seek to maintain their wellness lifestyle whilst on any kind of trip, for example by taking a yoga class or booking a massage whilst on a business trip. These new offerings also support the argument that wellness tourism counteracts over-tourism, since they tend to be in more remote locations.

Both brands represent tight knit communities. Familiarity, like-minds, and trust towards the quality provision and values these companies characterise will count significantly in winning loyalty, bookings and a bolstered following.

Anni Hood, Managing partner Well Intelligence

Scroll to Top